Bible Study Helps and Lessons
By Pastor George Rice
A. The blessed hope
1. Jesus personally gave the promise that He would return to earth - John 14:1-3
2. At Jesus’ ascension two angels reaffirmed this promise - Acts 1:9-11
3. Eternal rewards will be given to Jesus’ followers at His return - 2 Timothy 4:8
4. Enoch prophesied Jesus’ return to earth - Jude 14
5. Jesus’ return is called the “blessed hope” - Titus 2:13
B. Biblical description of Jesus’ return
1. Passage with greatest detail - 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
a. Righteous dead raised as Jesus was raised from dead
b. Lord will descend from heaven with a shout
c. With the voice of the Archangel
EXPLANATION: The Greek word translated “archangel” is made up of two words, αρχη meaning “beginning,” and αγγελος meaning “angel.” Αρχη can have an active or a passive meaning. Because there is a parallelism in verse 16, “Lord...shout” parallel with “voice of archangel,” the Lord and the Archangel are One and the same. Αρχη (“beginning”) is then taken to be active and identifies the One who initiated the beginning of the angels, or the One who created the angels.
d. With the trumpet of God
e. Dead in Christ having been raised will be taken up with the living who are in Christ and they meet the Lord in the air.
2. The saved are changed in two ways - 1 Corinthians 15:51-54
a. The physical devastation or corruption of the human body caused by sin will be taken away and the redeemed will be free of corruption
b. Mortality (cessation of life) will be replaced with immortality (no end of life).
COMMENT: Again the raising of the dead and the changing of the living is accompanied by the blowing of the trumpet of God.
3. Jesus’ descent through the skies is visible to all - Revelation 1:7
4. Those responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus will be raised from the dead to witness His return - Revelation 1:7
COMMENT: At His trial, Jesus told the high priest, Caiaphas, that he would see Jesus return to earth on the clouds of heaven - Matthew 26:64. For this to happen there will be a special resurrection. This special resurrection will include not only Caiaphas but the Roman soldiers who crucified Jesus.